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September 26, 2023

A Closer Look at Why Ants Are Difficult to Control

Ants are fascinating creatures but unfortunately, are constantly ranked by pest management professionals as one of the most difficult pests to control. Let’s take a look at why ants continue to take the number 1 spot for call backs and issues for PMPs.

Pesticide repellency

Ants are incredibly sensitive to their surroundings and will avoid some pesticides. Pyrethroid insecticides are known to be repellent while other chemistries, like fipronil, are non-repellent to ants. So, when choosing a control method decide if you are trying to keep ants away from a structure or want the ants to crawl through the insecticide and die.


Social insects in large colonies

The sheer numbers of ants in a colony means the odds are often in the favor of the ants. Just wiping up ants in a kitchen or applying a pesticide where a trail is seen won’t be enough for total control. Seeking out the colonies makes control much more difficult but some chemistries and baits can help with control when a colony can not be found. Cleaning indoors to minimize food and debris indoors and maintaining vegetation around the home will go a long way with ant prevention.



Sometimes it’s not just the ants…but other food sources

If a customer has a vegetable garden or a lot of plants around the home, then aphids may be providing a yummy treat for ant populations to thrive. Aphids secrete honeydew, a liquid that is rich in sugar, from their plant juice diet. The honeydew produced is a favorite meal of many ants. Be sure to check plants around a home during an inspection because it may lead to some of the ant issues.


Red imported fire ants can survive floods

Extreme weather sometimes won’t even be enough to control ants around a structure. Unfortunately, even a great flooding event doesn’t wipe out red imported fire ants. In large rain events, RIFA ants will clasp onto each other tightly and create a raft that floats on top of water to survive flooding.

Doxem Plus Fire Ant Bait


Tag(s): Pest Control , Ants , CSI-Pest , Fuse

Brittany Campbell, Ph.D., BCE

Technical Services Manager PCO Product Development

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